Minutes of the meeting at La Rosa Hotel on Thursday 6 September 2018.

Present: AdeleJonathan, Pip, MikeIan (chair).

ApologiesJenny,  Roy, LouiseGraham.

Topic: Members’ work-in-progress.


One of our members, David Agnew, died on 31 August 2018, as notified to members by Ian in the email reminder for this meeting. In his reminder Ian promised to find out more details, and was able to tell the meeting that David’s funeral will take place at Woodlands Crematorium, Scarborough, on Friday 21 September at 3 PM. In lieu of floral tributes there will be a retiring collection after the funeral in aid of the British Lung Foundation.

David will be sadly missed, not only for the wit and pragmatism of his “everyday” poetry, in which Whitby features extensively, but also for his penetrating but ever positive and helpful criticism of members’ poems read-out at meetings. Poems, he used to say, were “in the air” – you just had to reach out and grasp them. With this insight I have to acknowledge David as one of my chief teachers where poetry is concerned: my only reservation is that his airy remark conceals the acute observation, sheer inspiration and deep command of the craft of the poet that David never failed to bring to bear.

I’ve chosen one of David’s published poems as this week’s Poem of the Week.


Jonathan — has recently submitted his short story Cartimandui to a competition run by the Society of Civil and Public Servants, for which the entries must contain exactly 1,000 words. There was time for him to read us the entire finished piece, to our acclamation plus our good wishes for its success.
A deposed king from a neighbouring tribe arrives at the court of Cartimandui, queen of the Brigantes, seeking asylum. The queen must decide between aiding a fellow British ruler and her desire to reach an accommodation with the invaders.

Adele — has submitted her play to Teesside University as part of her coursework towards her MA in Creative Writing. Continuing the play-reading from our last meeting, she handed out scripts for scenes 3 and 4 for the parts of Sybil, Sandra, Carly and Ray.

Pip [Caicos Moon] — In place of a further instalment of her fascinating autobiographical work-in-progress, Pip brought along a collection of photos supplied by her aunt in Australia to serve as possible illustrations for the book. These she showed and described to the assembled group. The photos were shots of South Caicos, its beaches and inland scenery, of her father the District Commissioner and his official residence, and herself as a young person coming-of-age, plus some of the handsome US Coastguards manning the island’s navigational beacon. These pictures added yet more substance to the people, places and events she has already vividly described to us.

Ian [Anitra’s Petition] — In spite of her noncommital response to Peter confessing to the Gaiascope Atrocity, Commissioner Nilsson loses no time in carrying out what he has implored her to do in exchange: speed Anitra on her way to Mars.
A Moonforce squad bursts in on Anitra and Nanoud in their bedroom, with orders to deport them on the next fast-ferry from Lunaborg-Lipsky. The two friends are conveyed to a nearby hopper pad where Dolpou Zvezda sits waiting for Anitra at the controls of a civilian space-hopper, ringed by an escort of Moonforce craft. Anitra gets in beside Dolpou but Nanoud stays behind, there being unfinished business on the Moon.
But the convoy never reaches Lipsky. On the way it is attacked and the escort destroyed by a superior force which kidnaps Anitra and Dolpou, but is careful to do them no harm. They are delivered in their hopper to Oberon, a vast space-liner orbiting the Moon.

The meeting concluded at 12:50 PM, the next meeting being scheduled for Thursday 20 September 2018.